OpenWorld 2013

I’ve just come back from my 5th trip to Oracle OpenWorld. While there is something very special about your first trip to OpenWorld, this has been my favourite trip of the lot. In previous years I’ve blogged about what’s been going on every day, but for me, twitter and @jarneil is where I tend to be more active these days, but I thought I’d give a general overview of my OpenWorld experiences this year.

I was quite lucky this year to get a presentation selected “Exadata From Installation to Go Live: Experiences From Banking And Retail”. I was delighted by the number of attendees who turned up to it, well over 150 I reckon. while I have presented many times at various UKOUG events over the year, but I feel it’s slightly different presenting in the US, the attendees were very keen to ask questions and many came up to chat at the end. It certainly makes it all feel worthwhile as a presenter, and I’ll be submitting a presentation for next year for sure.

OakTable World

OakTable World has really become a fixed staple of my OpenWorld experience, a conference within a conference, where some of the most knowledgeable folks in the Oracle community present in a bit more technical detail than you get in the general conference. It really was tremendously well organised by @kylehailey and it was a real privelege to be able to attend this.


The big announcement in the Larry Ellison keynote was of course the new Oracle database in memory option. While it sounds like this is a long way from being production ready, it does sound like potentially an awesome feature. It did however make me wonder whether it might start to cannibalize Exadata sales: why worry if you don’t have smart scans when you are querying your hot data in memory.

On the Exadata front, the conference was a bit of damp squib, there was no new hardware announced, apparently due to the timeframe of the recent Intel chip release – it was too late for Oracle. Also there was no new Exadata Storage Server Software announced either. This really did take me by surprise the current version has been around for 9 months or so, and I really expected an update. Now, there were sneak peaks regarding what is coming and there is some good stuff in the offing, in particular compression of data in flashcache, done in hardware on the card, should essentially ensure you get more bang for your flashcache. There is also QOS for networks

To ensure offloading occurs for different versions of databases running on the compute nodes there is going to be a bit of an architectural change with the software running on the cells, with essentially an offloading process for the different database versions. It sounds like this may take a while to appear, and it’s a bit disappointing to say the least, that 12c has been released with no offloading support.

Interesting Presentations

I thought I’d mention a few of my favourite presentations, in addition to the OakTable World stuff above, that I saw. First up is from Maria Colgan and Jonathan Lewis called optimizer bootcamp. It not only was highly educational, but was also superbly entertaining – definitely the outstanding presentation of the week. I also enjoyed “Oracle Exadata: What’s New, What’s Coming” by Juan Loaiza. Juan is an excellent presenter and comes across as highly knowledgeable about the product. Finally I’d like to mention “Solving the Toughest Oracle Exadata Problems by Using Tips from Oracle Development” mostly presented by Scott Heisey. This really did give you a lot of tips on where to look and what to do when something goes wrong with your exadata. If the slides for this become available, I’d highly recommend taking a look if you have to manage an Exadata box.

The Social Side

What truly made this year a memorable experience though, was the social side. After 5 years, I now know quite a few people and really it is superb being able to talk to some of the smartest folks in the Oracle community. It is this that really made it a great year: from the Oracle Ace Dinner and speaking to a whole bunch of Enkitec folks, to the pythian party and one of the best stories I heard at OpenWorld from Karl Arao, to an e-dba dinner and some great stories about Oracle UK from James Anthony and finally the great blogger meetup and speaking with Luca Canali, oh and not forgetting dinner at the Franciscan Crab to the finale with Martin Nash in the W and a couple of mojhito.

It really is the people that makes Oracle OpenWorld a great conference to attend! So many thanks to @e_dba and the Oracle Ace program, without their support, I could not attend.

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